While it’s fun to go out for New Year’s Eve, too many partiers make the roads dangerous. So consider a fun option instead – a progressive party in your neighborhood to recognize the year’s change.
Living in Arizona we actually have two time choices to celebrate the transition: we can stick with midnight or take advantage of the ball dropping in Times Square at 10 p.m. our time to wrap up the evening early. This is particularly useful if you are including children.
To plan the evening, recruit hosts that live close by. Include your street or cul-de-sac and maybe one or two other adjoining blocks. For the event itself, if you’re wrapping up at 10, you could start at 7 p.m. Plan to stay at each house about 45 minutes. The first two homes with times of 7 to 7:45 p.m. and 7:45 to 8:30 p.m. could each offer a signature appetizer and beverage. 8:30 to 9:45 might be dessert, and the 9:45 home could feature champagne and sparkling cider while everyone counts down the ball dropping.
To make the evening extra festive, add noisemakers and hats at various homes. Your group could also sing a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne” as midnight approaches. Print some copies of the song’s lyrics so everyone can join in together.
After the party is over, you may find that neighbors are friendlier since they’ve had a chance to get to know each other better. It also gives new neighbors a chance to get acquainted. This could become an annual event on your block and lead to other social events in your neighborhood.
Many people know about eating black-eyed peas for luck on New Year’s Day, and in the U.S. we often toast with champagne and kiss each other as the clock hits midnight. But there are a number of other traditions across the world to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Here are a few fun ones.
Lucky yellow: In a number of countries in Latin America, it’s seen as lucky to wear yellow underwear. Some say that if you receive it as a gift it’s even luckier. Could this story have been spread by underwear manufacturers?
Bang the walls with…bread? Some people in Ireland will hit walls and doors with a loaf of Christmas bread at midnight. This is said to bring abundance during the New Year. It’s also supposed to scare away evil spirits, but I don’t think they would be afraid of bread!
Take your luggage for a walk: In Columbia and Mexico some people believe that if you carry a suitcase around the block at midnight, you ensure that the next year will be filled with travel and adventure. The suitcase can be empty, so maybe the adventure will involve losing your luggage?
Chair leaping and dish throwing: Danes celebrate the coming of a new year by leaping off furniture. They also throw china plates at the doors of their friends – breaking them to ensure good luck. The people with the most broken crockery are seen as having many friends. They’d also better have a large dustpan and sturdy broom!
However you celebrate the coming of the New Year, here at Fulton we hope 2013 is a wonderful year for you and your family!